How to Draw With Gel Pens

Gel pens can be fantastic for drawing and being creative. If you’re just getting started using a gel pen, check out the post below to learn the different methods that you can use to improve your skills. 

By the end, you’ll be feeling more assured about where to start and how to develop your artistic skills using gel pens. 


Start by getting a set of gel pens, ideally with a range of colors included, such as gelly roll pens.

Next, find some high-quality pieces of paper. Thick paper is best for gel pens due to how it effectively soaks up the ink for quicker drying times. This prevents the ink from seeping through the page. 

You may also want to keep a paper towel or dry cloth nearby in case there are any ink spillages. 

Ways to Draw With a Gel Pens Set

  • Start by using a lighter color and drawing the shape of the design that you want to fill with color. 
  • Next, use a darker shade of the same color and apply it over the top of the lighter ink in certain areas to create a gradient effect. 
  • You can then use your lighter color to color areas that you’d like to be lighter. You can experiment with this process, going back and forth between the shades until you get the desired gradient. 

Adding Texture

  • Once you’ve got to grips with using your gel pens for shading, you can start moving on to more advanced techniques, such as adding texture. 
  • Stippling and cross-hatching techniques are great for achieving this. 
  • Cross-hatching involves drawing parallel lines in one direction followed by another set of parallel lines in the opposite direction, drawn over the top of your initial lines.
  • The further apart the lines are, the lighter the color will seem. The closer the lines are, the darker the image will seem and the more texture it can add to your work.
  • Stippling involves applying small dots to the page that are either far apart or close together.
  • The dots that are closer together will create a darker effect and the ones further away will create a lighter texture. 


  • Blending with gel pens may take more practice compared to the above methods. However, it can enhance your artwork by making it look more professional. 
  • Start by using a gel pen that contains more wet ink. Once you’ve laid the color down, use another gel pen with ink that has less wetness. 
  • You can then use this pen to blend the wet ink with the dryer ink to create a smooth blending effect. 
  • You can go back and forth between the two pens to achieve the type of blending result that you’re looking for. 

Also read: Best Colored Pens For Note Taking


So, that concludes our post on drawing with gel pens to create totally awesome artwork. There are a few key techniques that can enhance the overall quality of your artwork, including blending, cross-hatching, and stippling.

…so be sure to implement the tips mentioned above to improve your gel pen artwork and remember, persistence is the key, so just keep on practising! 


Can you use black paper with glitter gel pens?

Yes, you can use a white gel pen for coloring on black paper.

Can gel and glitter pens be used for note-taking?

Yes, you can use these pens to take notes to provide you with a more visual aid whilst learning due to the bright colors that are available.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.